FDA sends warning to company for marketing dangerous unapproved stem cell products that put patients at risk and puts other stem cell firms, providers on notice

FDA sends warning to company for marketing dangerous unapproved stem cell products that put patients at risk and puts other stem cell firms, providers on notice

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned Genetech, Inc. of San Diego, California and its president, Edwin N. Pinos for marketing stem cell products without FDA approval and for significant deviations from current good tissue practice (CGTP) and current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) requirements, including some violations that may have led to microbial contamination, potentially causing serious blood infections in patients. Genetech processed umbilical cord blood into unapproved human cellular products, which was distributed by Liveyon, LLC.

During the inspection, the FDA documented evidence of significant deviations from CGTP and CGMP requirements in the manufacture of the umbilical cord blood-derived products, including: deficient donor eligibility practices; unvalidated manufacturing processes; uncontrolled environment; lack of control over the components used in production and a lack of defined areas or a control system to prevent contamination and mix-ups. These deviations pose a significant risk that the products may be contaminated with microorganisms or have other serious product quality defects.

The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have received numerous reports of safety issues including those involving microbial contamination and are aware of 12 patients who received Genetech products from Liveyon and subsequently became ill due to blood and other infections caused by a number of bacteria, including Escherichia coli (E. coli), as described in a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), titled “Notes from the Field: Bloodstream and Joint Infections in Patients After Receiving Bacterially Contaminated Umbilical Cord Blood-derived Stem Cell Products for Non-hematopoietic Conditions — United States, 2018.”

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